These 10 categories of items are actually holding your style back. If you want to elevate your personal style then read on and more importantly act on the items that I have recommended here to get rid from your closet.
As the new year hits or even a new season, we get this urge to find some new style that will change our overall personal style making us look and feel better, and in that process, we shop for new and improved pieces. But, what we often ignore is all the existing pieces in our closet. These items might be cluttering your closet so much that you are probably skipping the good clothing items you already have in there and you should be wearing.
When you get rid of them, you will realize that you actually have great clothes that you can add to your style. So, hopefully after reading through this post you will take action on them and I also have other blog posts that can help you organize your closet properly as well.
Before You Begin!
Its important to have the right mindset before you begin this process. If you are doing this just for the heck of it or because, you just want to get it over with so you can shop for more clothes, then I will have to be honest you will not succeed at all.
You need to understand and accept that you are going through with this process so that you can make your wardrobe more wearable which will elevate your style. If you do it with that mindset, you will definitely feel great about the whole process and the results will be awesome.
There are a few things you can do to help with that:
- Don’t rush into the process. Give yourself ample time. It takes us years to collect these many pieces, you cannot declutter it in an hour. Depending on the size of your closet, at least give yourself half a day to go through the items.
- Make the process enjoyable. You can do this by creating an ambient environment with candles, get some coffee or tea, listen to music. If you need a friend, go for it as well.
- Create compartments or bins where you can put the items you are discarding. Yes, not all items that I have listed here are to be thrown away. Some you can sell or donate as well. I have a whole blog post where I am sharing my exact organizing process and a mindset map that will help you with this process.
- Don’t dwell too long. If you start thinking about the item you are tossing, you might not be able to do it, so stop thinking too much as to why you are still holding on to it. Again, read the blog post linked above which will help you to get into the right mindset.
Clothes that No Longer Fit
These can be anything, but holding on to clothes that no longer fit you is not going to help your style. You can never wear these because it does not fit and hence does not flatter you in anyway. If something is loose, you can have it altered, but you also should factor in the price of altering, if its more than the price of the item, you should get rid of it.
Here is a list of items that I am most certain you will find in your closet like I do that does not fit and can be donated, tossed or sold:
- Jeans that are uncomfortable to wear
- Pants that feel too tight or loose
- Jackets that don’t fit properly
- T shirts
- Sweaters (shrunken)
- Shoes that don’t fit you but you still bought
I am pretty sure, you will find more than what I have listed. Clothes have a tendency to shrink or expand after washing, and sometimes we do it by accident. There is no point in holding on to them when you cannot wear them.
Underwears that are too Old
This is something we all are guilty of. Even though we buy new clothes often, we tend to forget about our underwear. They are actually the most worn pieces in our closet and often most neglected. Bras that are worn for more than 6 to 7 months should be replaced with new ones for better support.
The same applies for panties, they probably loose their sanitation after 6 – 7 months. You get the picture. These are pieces that you definitely should get rid of every six months. But if you haven’t done that in a while, now is the time.
This will not only help for a better posture and style, but you will also feel good in new underwear, trust me!
What You No Longer Wear
This is the toughest one to justify to get rid of. You can always find excuses to hold on to them. You can always wear them in future, but unfortunately, you will never do that. Once we phase out a style, even if it comes back in the industry, we will always find a new one to buy instead of wearing the old one that we own and never wore.
Thing about it, have you ever done otherwise?
So, do yourself a huge favor and get rid of it or give it a new home in someone else’s closet by selling or donating. My mindset map will help you with that. I have a closet organizing product with labels that will help with a seamless organizing.
These items can be anything:
- Athletic items
- Styling tools
These are best tossed. If you have a torn jeans or piece of clothing, its time for it to be trashed. I know you might have sentimental attachment or you looked really good wearing it, but you need to get rid of it.
You already know why, you cannot wear a torn piece of clothing even if its in style.
There are a few items that you should consider here and not just clothes:
- Worn out shoes that look tattered. This includes athletic shoes, normal shoes with worn out exposed area that makes them look bad. I recently got rid of my favorite loafer mules from Coach that I loved to death, but looked really worn out and ragged as the leather stain was peeling off the shoes. You get the picture!
- Sunglasses that have broken parts, or tint is peeling. They look really bad.
- Scarves and Gloves that look tattered or really worn out. You can always find new ones that work and look better.
- Clothes with torn seems or obvious damages to them which includes underwear and other items.
- Faded Clothes, this is not as obvious, but yes, faded clothes look old and tattered. Please get rid of them.
- Wallets or handbags with worn out leather or material. You might also find a few with missing hardware.
- Jewellery that have lost there colors. It happens mostly to fashion jewelries.
Socks, Tights, Shapewear
Even though most of it is not visible, its important to toss the old ones and replace them with newer pairs periodically for the same reason you should do it for underwear.
These are basics or fundamentals of our overall look and if they are not at their best, they will affect our style. Loose socks will not stay well and you will be constantly fidgeting. Shapewear that is worn out will not do its job even if they look perfect. Sometimes, we ave lost or gained weight and these items also don’t fit us anymore, in that case, they should absolutely be tossed away.
Tights are a bit easier to toss, because a lot of them tear and then you can toss them because you cannot wear them anymore. But if you don’t wear a particular style of tights, you should also get rid of it. What’s the point in holding on to them.
Basics you Upgraded Already
This one is also a tough one, but necessary for many reasons. Lets say you have a White Crewneck T shirt that you have upgraded from. Now you have two or three or the same crewneck t shirt. And every time you reach for one, you pick the upgraded one, even though this first pair is in excellent condition, there is a high chance that you will never wear it again.
There are many reasons for it, but the important part is that your brain has decided that the newer style of t shirts are helping you look better, and as human nature we don’t like to fall back. So, its a good practice to donate or sell this t shirt, so you don’t feel guilty and you closet is not cluttered.
You will find many basics like these ones in your closet which you have already upgraded at some point of time, but never got rid of the older one.
Most common basics that we often upgrade:
- T shirts
- Styling Tools
I wanted to give this a special section because this is the most forgotten item and a lot of us hold on to them even if we don’t wear them. It is a good practice to go through them every year and toss out pieces that you are no longer going to wear at all.
There are a few ways you can decide whether you are going to wear an item or not.
- If they hurt your leg in the long run even after wearing them for a million times. Some shoes are just not meant for you.
- If they have worn out, which is an obvious one.
- If the shoes are completely out of style now. I know trends come back, but the styles always change a bit, and you will always want to upgrade to something new. No point in holding on to them just for the heck of it.
- Worn out soles. Even though the footwear might be in a great condition, but if the soles have worn out. You should not wear them. Sometimes the soles are irreparable. So, its better to upgrade to a new pair.
Though this directly does not correlate to your style, but I always feel like cute Pjs make me feel good. I also have a habit of holding on to a lot of old Pjs, but never wear them.
They end up taking a lot of space in my closet and often spill over to outside clothes. Now, that I am working from home, I wear pajamas longer and I cannot see myself wearing old tattered ones because I want to feel cute in them.
So, what is the point of holding on to old ones. Pajamas are also not made from the best material all the time, so its a good practice to replace them every season if not every year so that your skin does not suffer.
Handbags That You Never Wear
We all are guilty of this. When I was in my 20s, I would buy handbags to compliment my outfits. And since I bought so many, most of them were not good quality. As my taste and style sense changed, I realized that I really only need a few high quality handbags.
Even now, sometimes I go back to my handbags and see which ones I barely use or probably never use and then depending on the price and brand, I either donate or sell them.
This way I am not cluttering my closet and I don’t confuse myself thinking that I have a certain style of handbag which I don’t.
There will be certain handbags that are just too out of style for you to carry. Its best to give them a new home.
Accessories Out of Style
The most common accessories that come under this category are
Its really rare to see a timeless accessory amongst the above that you will wear forever. That is the reason they are called accessory. Of course there are exception with luxury pieces. But even those become outdated after a few years. So, its good to sell them and make room for new ones.
I always find at least 1 or 2 in each of these categories and sell or donate so I can make room for new styles.
Hope this post helped you in identifying what is holding your closet and style back. Don’t forget to check my closet organizing post that will help you with clearing out all of this.